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My dog ate plastic

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My dog ate plastic
  • Hello,
    New to the Forum…
    My beagle Frankie regurgitated his dinner on Thurs. night after finding a piece of a drawstring from a plastic bag he regurgitated about 6 or seven times after that. Mind you by now he was regurgitating nothing but air. We took him to an emergency Vet in my area that gave him x-rays but found nothing and kept him over night on Ivs. They said he did not regurgitated and ate his food regularly. So we took him home. It#%92s Sunday morning now and he woke us up doing the same thing as the other night. He regurgitated another piece of plastic. (I think from the same bag as the other day because we don#%92t have any bags out.) He#%92s calmed down a little now but I#%92m worried he licking the floor.

    I called the same hospital and all I get is to bring him in and they will do more x-rays, they don#%92t really seam like they want to really help and get to the root of the problem. It cost me $900 the other day, he was looking bad but by the time we got to the hospital he was better. He did his solids this morning and it looks good (no diarrhea). So I guess you could say nothing is obstructing that.

    We just moved to NJ from Miami and my dog has been acting a little out of norm. He never ate plastic before and now it's like he wants to eat everything.

    Advice anyone?
  • Do you have a regular vet there yet?
    Is he acting pretty normal...well except for licking the floor...don't know what that means. 
    You said he ate and did his regular stuff and everything looks normal.  It sounds like there was something left in him that the ex-rays didn't pick up the other day. Perhaps its all out now.  Have you been able to detect for sure how much he ate and how much came back out?    I think if it were me,,,and he ate, drank his water and his stools are okay and he is acting alright,,,I would watch him carefully and at least try to wait until I could take him to my regular vet instead of emergency vet.  Of course if he seems to take a turn for the worst,,I would take him now.
  • He was nice and calm for a few hours then he started again. He can't hold his water down he is throwing it up.

    I hate these vets that charge so much!!!

    I just called my vet in Miami and they charge $90 for x-rays, these clowns charge me $211!!!!!!!

    The Vet I plan to use here is close on Sunday so I could only take him to the emergency animal hospital.

    unless I wait for 2 morrow but I don't think I could he seems like e is in pain his stomach is tight.
  • I don't blame you David....I really don't.   I would try to avoid the emergency vets as much as possible BUT they are there for an emergency, and this really sounds like one.  He can dehydrate fast if he is not holding down water and throwing up. I don't feel that you have much of a choice...I'm sure you feel the same way.  
    I don't know,, maybe you can get somewhere on the money ;part by telling them that they did take ex-rays that you paid for, and you wonder what they will see now that they didn't see a day or so ago? OF course you would bring all this up being nice as can be,,since you want them to help you.   It seems he does need treatment though,,,I don't think at this point that you have a choice.  
    Please keep us updated!
  • I could he seems like e is in pain his stomach is tight.
    And throwing up with not being able to hold down his water, You are right. It cannot wait till the am. Something is wrong here for sure.
    I would take him in if he were mine.
    Good luck and let us know the prognosis.
  • I'm getting confused on the timing here -- but it IS this morning (Sunday) that he's throwing up water?  But he DID poop this morning? (sorry -- I gotta be absolutely sure here that we have understanding because it's critical here)
     
    Has he been defecating (pooping) every day?  And there wasn't plastic in that??
     
    See when there is an "obstruction" -- that means the intestines.  And the problem was you took him to the vet too soon for them to take it seriously.  (and frankly, you did the right thing and shouldn't have been blown off in an expensive fashion for that!)
     
    Let me explain what I mean.  When a dog eats something that obstructs them (blocks the intestine) -- you don't SEE the results of that for ... well, about 12-24 hours.    They will cease pooping.  The body will get rid of what was already IN the intestines, but nothing further will move thru. 
     
    Usually the dog continues to eat and drink.  Depending on where the obstruction is, what happens is the intestines fill up  from the point where the object is BACK to the stomach.  Because nothing can move thru the intestines, food spills back into the stomach and stomach acid will then continue to pour into the stomach in an attempt to 'digest' whatever is there.  But since the intestines are blocked stuff stays IN the stomach and they throw it up. 
     
    Watch carefully to see if the dog poops at all (and can you remember if what he DID poop was normal looking?  That's important too.)
     
    It almost sounds to me like there is something in the stomach itself -- how much has the dog eaten??  Is the dog holding down food?
     
    How much water did the dog drink when it threw up?  Could it possibly have drunk a LOT which triggered the stomach to throw it up.
     
    That's not to say there isn't a problem -- the big deal is for the vet to find WHERE the problem is, so being able to tell the vet the answers to questions like this can help.
     
    I'm not sure plastic is going to show on an x-ray -- it depends on how big a piece it is and how thick.  Metal will show, cloth won't.  But I honestly don't know IF plastic will show even if they take 99 x-rays. 
     
    That would be my next question to the vet.  If the object itself doesn't show, then the ONLY thing an x-ray is going to show is where food has stopped going thru (like if the intestines are now clear TOTALLY from the stomach to the anus then the obstruction might be in the stomach).  But that would likely mean that the obstruction has 'shifted'.  If it was in the stomach all weekend the dog wouldn't have been able to eat and keep ANYTHING down.
     
    Obstructions are very difficult to find.  Often a vet will move to an ultrasound because it's easier to find things that won't show on an x-ray.  But they ARE expensive.
     
    The other possibility is that it is entirely unrelated to the plastic.  That could simply be a "red herring" (something totally unrelated that's simply complicating and 'hiding' the real answer).
     
    So I've got to ask a few questions here just to establish a baseline:
     
    1.  How much is the dog eating?  Is he eating normally?  Has he eaten this morning and kept it down?  Will he eat anything *other* than his normal food (it can be telling if the dog will willingly eat a bit of steak or mashed potato but won't eat regular kibble).
     
    2.  How much is the dog drinking?  Have you noticed him drinking MORE since you moved?  Has he drunk more this weekend than normal?  Is he urinating/peeing like normal?
     
    3.  After he threw up the water, has he tried to drink ANY more.  Put down a totally different bowl with fresh, clean water.  And particularly -- if at all possible, put down bottled water for him rather than tap water.
     
    IF he can't hold down ANY Water -- that's a vet emergency because he will dehydrate fast. 
     
    Now understand, please -- we don't know your new vet at all.  BUT prices in Jersey and prices in Miami aren't going to be the same.  Even the price of an office visit will be different.  And it's going to depend on where in NJ you are.  If you are in the City or surrounding suburbs, it's going to BE more expensive.  But if you are living further south in a less urban area, that will be different (there are parts of NJ in west central NJ that are pretty darned rural!!)
     
    It sounds to me like the dog is having some emotional reaction to the move -- that does happen.  But that means you have to be far more vigilant.  Crate the dog if you aren't with it.  They will often change when they go thru such an upheaval -- the dog may be looking thru things to find smells of 'Home' (Miami) or maybe he's just feeling unsettled and needs time to adjust with you.
  • I don't know what it could be but I hope he feels better soon.
     
    About the vet fees, since he was just at the ER, if you need to bring him back they should charge you for a re-check and not another whole consultation.  I live in RI and a year or so ago Willow went to the emergency vet here, which was $95 just to get seen.  Well, about two weeks later we went back and since she had recently been there for the same issue, the charged me $56 the second time plus meds or whatever other testing needed to be done, but the initial charge was lower.
  • Found a vet in the area that is AAHA certified and open on Sundays. Once there the doctor asked us some questions then took an x-ray to find that he had eaten a small nail and a piece of wire. This is not what made him sick though. What he does while he's feeling bad is lick the floor and basically eat anything in his way, the doctor said this behavior was normal when dogs are feeling nuasious and sick. She said to feed him throughout the day very small portions of food and water so that will help him pass the objects through and wont make him want to vomit since small amounts of food might not make him nausious.


    1.  How much is the dog eating?  Is he eating normally?  Has he eaten this morning and kept it down?  Will he eat anything *other* than his normal food (it can be telling if the dog will willingly eat a bit of steak or mashed potato but won't eat regular kibble).

    he is eating normal, 1 1/2 cups a day at night. he does not eat anything else other than his kibble and some treats from nutro.

    2.  How much is the dog drinking?  Have you noticed him drinking MORE since you moved?  Has he drunk more this weekend than normal?  Is he urinating/peeing like normal?

    This dog has always drank large amounts of water, he had a flap pet door where he moved to the yard to pee as much as he wanted. Now I control his water because I'm temporarily in an apt and would like to time his pee breaks, so he is drinking much less.


    3.  After he threw up the water, has he tried to drink ANY more.  Put down a totally different bowl with fresh, clean water.  And particularly -- if at all possible, put down bottled water for him rather than tap water.


    yeah, I thought about that but now I'm just giving him a little water at a time it seems to work.


    We are just keeping an eye on him for now, hopefully it passes through, if not then he goes under the knife.

    Just to give you an idea how expensive these creeps are:


    office visit.....................145
    x-ray............................210
    IV fluids........................160
    blood test......................62
    sedation........................70
    hospitalization................115
    exam fee.......................45
    oral meds fee................29
    red blood cell eval..........29

    TOTAL $865

    I paid $75 for an x-ray today at a non-emergency hospital

    well I'll keep posting and thanks for the info

  • Hope your furbaby is doing better now. I know that the vet bills, esp at the emergency places are expensive, but it is well worth it for your baby to get better. I just paid over $500 for Nemo's visits but now he is better, and dh and I might be eating bologna sandwiches this week for dinner but that is alright with us! [:)
    On serious note, hope he is feeling better. Will pray for him.
  • Does he seem to feel better David?
    Hope so!
  • Some dogs will drink water just to DO something.  So you give them less OR you can make it harder to get it!  Try giving ice (like even a big HUGE ICE CUBE -- like a pint block of ice) or use a rabbit water bottle and put just a bit of butter on the tip so he knows he has to lick it to get water.
     
    But at the same time do make sure he doesn't have a urinary tract infeciton -- some dogs can drink a ton to deal with it.
     
    Glad you found a vet to help.  All vets are NOT created equal!
  • David, how is that puppy doing?  
  • my doctor tells me that he walks around the room licking the floor indicates he is nausious, well that is what he woke up up doing at 2:30am
    The wire passed through regurgitaion but not the nail so we are waiting he is still walking around the room licking the floor. We called the emergency vet and they told us to givee him water to induce the vomiting to see if the nail comes out. he pooped but no nail. most likely the nail is causing irritation right now. I just going to keep an eye on him like they told me. my reg vet opens in a few hours.
  • Oh man, what a thing to have to go thru!  Poor him,,,,poor you.
    Hang in there,,,,its almost time that you can get to your regular vet, and hopefully you can help your poor dog!
  • Dave, I wonder how your guy is doing today!  I hope he is feeling better!